The NBA Players Association is unhappy with the league’s 25-game suspension of Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant, announced Friday.
“We believe it’s excessive and inappropriate for a number of reasons,” NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio said in a statement.
Morant has been suspended by the league for all offseason activities, the preseason, and the first 25 games. He must undergo a series of steps before the suspension is lifted, the league said.
“Ja has expressed his remorse and accepted responsibility for his actions, and we support him unequivocally as he does whatever is necessary to represent himself, our players and our league in the best possible light,” the NBPA statement read. “As to the discipline imposed, which keeps him off the court until December and requires some unstated conditions to be met before he can return, we believe it is excessive and inappropriate for a number of reasons including the facts involved in this particular incident, and that it is not fair and consistent with past discipline in our league. We will explore with Ja all options and next steps.”
The Grizzlies have said they support the league’s decision, announced by commissioner Adam Silver.
“Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games,” Silver said in a statement. “The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning. Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.
“For Ja, basketball needs to take a back seat at this time. Prior to his return to play, he will be required to formulate and fulfill a program with the league that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior.”
Morant has been seen brandishing a firearm on social media twice in six months. He received an eight-game suspension for the first incident.